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As a student, you might feel a range of emotions about the upcoming summer break. It’s a switch of routine, so it’s bound to bring changes, and this can sometimes take some getting used to. Maybe you’re heading home for the summer, picking up some part-time work or simply enjoying the break. Either way, you’re likely to have more time on your hands than usual. So it’s the perfect opportunity to nurture your mental and physical health.
Life is full of ups, downs, twists, turns and unexpected moments. Navigating these moments can be challenging at times. That's why it’s good to press pause now and again to reset and recharge the batteries. This summer, we’re encouraging students to make the most of the break by boosting wellbeing with the tips below.
Getting out in nature holds a host of health benefits, including increasing vitamin D levels, physical activity and creativity. The great outdoors is also a natural antidote to anxiety and depression, helping to boost self-esteem and improve confidence.
Mindfulness means focusing your attention on the thoughts, feelings and experiences that are occurring right now. It helps improve mental wellbeing by encouraging engagement with the outside world instead of being caught up in the mind. Being mindful allows you to gain space from your thoughts, notice patterns and let go of unhelpful thinking habits.
Wellbeing gets a bad rep for routines and regiments. But doing things you love is just as important for your mental health. Take time this summer to reengage with activities you enjoy, places that make you smile and people who make you feel good.
Moving your body in any way you can will always provide a mood booster, and in the long term, it lowers the risk of a range of health conditions too. Settling into an exercise routine is often the hardest part. Once you’re in the swing of things, the habit comes naturally, so summer is a great time to discover a form of exercise you enjoy. It could be walking, running, hiking, an exercise class, cycling or swimming—everything counts.
With a little bit of spare time, try experimenting in the kitchen by trying out new healthy recipes you’ve never attempted before. Find out what fruits and vegetables are in season and use these in your meals. Aim for a mix of vitamins, minerals and food groups to ensure you get everything your body needs.
Use your summer to prepare for the year ahead. Think about any goals you have for the future, whether after college or university or during your studies. Get visual with images or write down things you’d like to achieve. It’s good to stop and reflect on what the future holds and how you can get there.
Connecting with others is vital to good mental health. These connections boost empathy and trust and reduce anxiety and depression. Use your spare time to strengthen your connection with loved ones by calling an old friend, arranging a day out with family, or doing a group activity with others.
Remember that we’re here for you over the summer too. If you feel overwhelmed, lonely or down during the break, get in touch with us via your Student Assistance Programme.
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